Shock at theft of £10k hut project

Cotswold Journal: Shock at theft of £10k hut project Shock at theft of £10k hut project

VILLAGERS in Mickleton have been left outraged after an antique shepherd’s hut they had spent 18 months restoring was stolen.

The distinctive hut, worth £10,000, was taken from the allotments in Stratford Road, between 4.30pm on November 15 and 8.30am on November 16.

Members of the Mickleton Community Vineyard bought the hut from a farmer and had only finished restoring it two months ago, with one volunteer going up every Friday for a year to help with the project.

It was hoped the hut would be used as a meeting place for sponsors of the vineyard, as somewhere to sit if they had barbecues or as an information centre.

About 150 people have now sponsored 204 of 300 vines which were planted three years ago, with the first wine tasting set to take place on February 28, next year.

Chris Moorecroft, administrator of the vineyard, said everyone was upset by the theft.

“It was a labour of love for a number of people in the village,”

he said. “Some people are very upset. It was well secured to the ground with chains and bars.”

The shepherd’s hut was in poor condition when it was first bought, with rusty, corrugated iron and holes all over the structure.

But a dedicated band of workers including John Garton used recycled wood inside and on the floor and painted the wheels metallic green to give it a new lease of life.

“It was part of the history of Mickleton,” said Mr Moorecroft.

“It was a shepherd’s hut that came from an old farm in Mickleton.

“It’s a loss of a bit of Mickleton heritage.

“We will have to re-group and decide what to do. We’re going to do something, we’re not going to let the world beat us.”

Simon Masters, spokesman for Gloucestershire police, said: “Anybody with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 141 of November 16.

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